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2016 Dodge Charger Review - No Boring Cars By Larry Nutson

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2016 Dodge Charger
No boring cars

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Dodge says the Charger is the world’s only four-door muscle car. And yes, it has a muscular look and plenty of muscle under the hood.

The 2016 Dodge Charger comes in a slew of models, from the SE to the SXT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and all the way to the SRT Hellcat.

The range of engine offerings is almost as long. There’s the 292HP 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine on SE and SXT models. The “yes that things got a Hemi” legendary 370HP 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 on the R/T; the 485 HP 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 in the SRT 392 and R/T Scat Pack models and the 707HP 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine.

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The Charger SRT Hellcat delivers the ultimate performance with 707 horsepower, 650 lb.-ft. of torque, a top speed of 204 miles per hour (mph), National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)-certified, quarter-mile elapsed time of 11.0 seconds on street tires and does 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds – making it the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world. 

On the SXT the optional Rally Group bumps the V6 to 300HP by adding cold air-induction and performance exhaust.

Each engine is mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. All-wheel-drive is offered on the V6 SE and SXT models.

I’ve driven every one of these power train combinations at one time or another mostly through my membership in the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). Each Spring and Fall the MAMA group holds race track-based rallies where we can drive a multitude of vehicles on both public roads and the race track. I’ve also been privileged to hone my driving skills in both the 485HP and 707HP Chargers at a track training school. Last summer MAMA and Dodge teamed up at GingerMan Raceway in western Michigan to put us in the driver’s seat with a pro-driver helping us learn the fastest and safest way around the track.

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Putting all this adrenalin-pumping fun aside, there is the reality of every day transportation needs. For that I recently drove the 2016 Charger SXT PLUS AWD model. The timing was right with the Charger since it would be our Christmas road trip sleigh. If needed, the all-wheel drive would be a big help if snow indeed was along our route.

The 5-passenger SXT Plus AWD has a base price of $31,995. I got to enjoy the Rally Group which adds $1,295 and gave me the 300HP, 19-inch wheels, Beats premium speakers and subwoofer, and some unique trim pieces. An AWD Plus Group added another $2,495. It adds leather trim sport seats, a lot of power convenience features, heated seats and steering wheel, a back-up camera and rear park assist feature plus some more. Navigation package added another $695.

All-in-all this was a very nicely equipped and very comfortable to drive Charger. My wife is usually quick to comment on seat comfort. After returning home from driving the two legs of around 250 miles each she noted the front passenger seat to be very comfortable and provide good back support. I too exited the Charger not feeling fatigued from sitting.

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The heated seats and steering wheel are wonderful in a cold winter. Dodge did a nice job of having them turn on automatically when it’s cold out. The 300HP was plenty to move us down the highway with nothing lacking in terms of acceleration, merging and passing.

Dodge touts the EPA test highway fuel economy rating of 31mpg as best-in-class on the RWD model. The EPA test city rating is 19mpg. The AWD model, like I was driving, is EPA test rated at 27mpg highway and 18mpg city.

On our Christmas road trip it was the highway all the way going to our destination. I knocked off about 25mpg with an average trip speed of 73mph. On the return we shunned the pike for a portion of the trip. That added about 30 minutes to the drive home, reduced our average speed to 62mph, and bumped our fuel economy to 27mpg. Note that we were two people with a moderate trunk load. Roads were clear and dry and it wasn’t too cold.

The 2016 Dodge Charger SE has a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $27,995. The Charger SE AWD model has a starting MSRP of $30,245. Destination charge is $995 destination.

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The Charger is quite roomy and a good all around family sedan. The cabin is quiet and the trunk is large. The V6 has plenty of power but you might consider the 370HP V8 if you are carrying a full load frequently and climbing lots of hills too. But note, there is a trade-off on gas consumption, and gasoline prices will not stay as low as they are forever.

Check out more details and specification on the 2016 Dodge Charger at You can compare the Charger to other large sedans right here at

For two years running the Dodge Charger has been recognized with ALG’s Residual Value Award for vehicles and brands that stand out from the rest of the market by representing quality, long-term reliability and strong desirability.

© 2016 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy